Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

Bathurst NSW Australia

Please like our Facebook page for latest news and images!

https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/

Bathurst Observatory Research Facility is an observatory site primarily for education, research and study, though we do offer general public viewing nights.

Open Nights Star Tours Available Now (conditions and limits apply)

Open Nights Star Tours

Bookings will be essential for all tours.

(All tours subject to weather)

NEWS: Tours begin at the new site

Tours are underway at the new site. The site is not complete yet, however, are able to offer tours to help complete other facilities.

Tours will be generally be available any clear Friday and Saturday nights, however, we can also offer some tours, mid week for groups of 5 or more. Check to see if I am available.

Any clear Friday and Saturday Nights!!!

Note, Bathurst Observatory has moved and under construction!!!!

The new site, opened during 2020 and offers better sky, better viewing opportunities and a more unique experience.

No tours in the week of Full Moon.

Bookings essential.

Please note that the main telescope is pretty big and requires use of a small stepladder for viewing. Please advise if you would have difficulties with steps and we can set up a different telescope.

* There may be some mid week research nights where tours are not available.

Reduced Tours Prices for groups

Costs :

As the site is not yet complete with all facilities, we are asking for donation towards completion (an amount you think is fair for the tour and my time).

(Note: we have NO credit card facilities)

Tour bookings and Enquiries, phone (0427292214 Please leave a message as we screen out spam calls), or email us. (Email is by far the best way to get us, if you don’t get a reply it means you have us blocked!!! Please change your settings!).

How to find us? See Location!

Why “Open Nights”?

Bathurst Observatory in eveningWe used to do tours in the observatory dome. However, we found that the dome itself blocked out most of the night sky! Our visitors wanted to view through a telescope but be able to see and hear about the wonders of the night sky at the same time. We particularly had many visitors from urban areas wanting to see a nice dark country sky full of stars. The solution, set up the public telescope as nature wanted us to, on cleared ground next to the observatory, under the wonder of the Southern stars.

Our tours are conducted with the only guide with over fifteen years educational astronomy experience and with Bachelor of Education Honours Degree! Our guide is also an internationally recognised expert in the field of meteorites.

Tours require bookings and are weather dependent. (We can’t see stars through clouds!) Tour duration is about 1 hour, depending on time of year.

We cater for all school astronomy and space excursions, as well as general public telescope tours of the night sky. Primarily we offer our open night tours to inspire everyone to look to the night sky.

The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility - 6th July 2013The Milky Way stretches overhead in this view taken at the Bathurst Observatory Research Facility.
The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility (Research and Meteorite Related Enquires and Public Viewing Nights)

The Bathurst Observatory Research Facility, located on the current site on Limekilns Road north east of Bathurst. At the research site, we study, comets, asteroids, variable stars, meteors and meteorites. For research related enquires please email us.

We also welcome any enquires or questions you may have on Astronomy, Space or meteorite related matters.

Our FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory/ is regularly updated, so have a look for the latest news and images from the observatory.

Other Tours

Museum

Solar Telescope Tours (Viewing the Sun)

On occasions, we are able to offer daytime telescope views of the sun. We have a special telescope that allows you to SAFELY view the sun. At present the availability of these tours will depend on three factors.

  1. that I’m available on the day.
  2. it is not cloudy.
  3. that the sun has some active features.

The third point is important, as sometimes the sun can be quiet and not as interesting to see.

These tours will be about 15 minutes in duration and by gold coin donation. Bookings for a solar tour would be essential.

Donate to Bathurst Observatory

We would really appreciate your support!

Bathurst Observatory is in the process of moving to a new location. All facilities are currently being rebuilt.
Your Contribution of any amount will go towards:
$1000 for the crane, $5500 for the Observatory Foundations and Telescope Pier, $3500 for the Public Viewing Area.

Keep up to date with our latest News.
Please Subscribe to our Newsletter.

We value your privacy and do not share your information.

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Update: I ignored advice and went up the ladder and managed a temporary fix. The observatory is at least operational again!

In good news (kind of) while the observatory isn't functional until I get the repair done, that will not affect the proposed first astrophotography class!! I shall post the date for that very soon (July) and likely run two dates in case people need an option.

Not much progress on the observatory repair as yet. The dome isn’t closing properly and needs a few parts fabricated and fitted to the upper shutter (top of the image). I did get the parts today but it will take a couple of helpers to fix. Sadly I’m on my own this weekend. Basically, if you look at the image, you will notice the upper dome has sagged a bit in the middle, causing it to hit the lower one. The fix will be a threaded rod inside to tighten it up and give it the shape back. My back injury is still a worry, so while I'm on my own, I'm not climbing the ladder!
... See MoreSee Less

Update: I ignored advice and went up the ladder and managed a temporary fix. The observatory is at least operational again!

In good news (kind of) while the observatory isnt functional until I get the repair done, that will not affect the proposed first astrophotography class!! I shall post the date for that very soon (July) and likely run two dates in case people need an option.

Not much progress on the observatory repair as yet. The dome isn’t closing properly and needs a few parts fabricated and fitted to the upper shutter (top of the image). I did get the parts today but it will take a couple of helpers to fix. Sadly I’m on my own this weekend. Basically, if you look at the image, you will notice the upper dome has sagged a bit in the middle, causing it to hit the lower one. The fix will be a threaded rod inside to tighten it up and give it the shape back. My back injury is still a worry, so while Im on my own, Im not climbing the ladder!

Comment on Facebook

At least you know what is wrong with it and have the parts ready to go.

Yes, don't take any chances with your health. Be safe.

Take care.

While out imaging comets last night, the observatory had a mechanical issue with the dome. I am hoping to fix it Saturday so it doesn’t cancel tours but admit I’m not overly hopeful I can fix it in time for this or even next weekend. Fingers crossed. If the weather forecast is correct, it may be raining anyway. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I would say you will have time to fix it. 🌧🌧🌧🌧

Fingers and toes crossed for you.

I caught up with comet Pons Brooks again on the 28th May. Imaged with the C14 at F2. The anti-tail is looking more prominent and a few rays in the ion/dust tail. ... See MoreSee Less

I caught up with comet Pons Brooks again on the 28th May. Imaged with the C14 at F2. The anti-tail is looking more prominent and a few rays in the ion/dust tail.

Comment on Facebook

Well done. Amazing captions. 👏 👏👏

Nice work

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) imaged on the 28th of May. The comet is lower right of the image (so I could keep the two galaxies in the frame). This comet 'may' become a bright object low in the predawn sky during early October. In the meantime, it is showing a nice dust tail as it draws near the sun in coming months ... See MoreSee Less

Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) imaged on the 28th of May. The comet is lower right of the image (so I could keep the two galaxies in the frame). This comet may become a bright object low in the predawn sky during early October. In the meantime, it is showing a nice dust tail as it draws near the sun in coming months

Comet Pons Brooks is finally high enough in the west that I can use the research telescope to image it. This image was taken on the 27th of May. It is now much faded, but shows a really nice sunward anti tail as well as gas and dust tails. It will continue to fade as it moves away from the sun and Earth, though getting a bit higher in the sky, so perhaps I should get better images. ... See MoreSee Less

Comet Pons Brooks is finally high enough in the west that I can use the research telescope to image it. This image was taken on the 27th of May. It is now much faded, but shows a really nice sunward anti tail as well as gas and dust tails. It will continue to fade as it moves away from the sun and Earth, though getting a bit higher in the sky, so perhaps I should get better images.

Comment on Facebook

I got some shots and stacked them tonight, I thought something may have gone wrong but I see your photo is like mine, the shape has changed! But yours is quite better, I have to get away from the town light.

I no longer have a telescope, but doing ok with Nikon d5600 and 300mm lens at Molong.

Awesome

There was much excitement over last night massive Auroral storm (rightly so!!). The conditions have settled for the time being so I again turned my attention on a rare clear night to how comet Pons Brooks is going. The comet is showing a nice dust anti tail, as well as ion and dust tails. Image 12th May. I likely won't image the comet again until after the Moon has passed out of the evening sky. ... See MoreSee Less

There was much excitement over last night massive Auroral storm (rightly so!!). The conditions have settled for the time being so I again turned my attention on a rare clear night to how comet Pons Brooks is going. The comet is showing a nice dust anti tail, as well as ion and dust tails. Image 12th May. I likely wont image the comet again until after the Moon has passed out of the evening sky.

Comment on Facebook

Brilliant. Is the Aurora visible tonight??

There is so much happening out there. Lovely shot of the comet.

Colin Pickstone

Despite a LOT of cloud, I was able to see and image a few glimpses of the Auroral storm on the late evening of the 11th of May. The pink colour was visible to the eye. I was surprised how bright it was. If only I had a larger break in the clouds, as the vertical banding was muted by the cloud haze. I guess though, the clouds did make it more eerie. These images were around 11:00pm. ... See MoreSee Less

Despite a LOT of cloud, I was able to see and image a few glimpses of the Auroral storm on the late evening of the 11th of May.  The pink colour was visible to the eye. I was surprised how bright it was. If only I had a larger break in the clouds, as the vertical banding was muted by the cloud haze. I guess though, the clouds did make it more eerie. These images were around 11:00pm.Image attachmentImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

For those asking if it will happen again tonight--- as the solar storm which caused it is not as big as the previous two it is not touted to be as bright as it was over the past few nights. Please note cameras pick up more light than the human eye- so what you see in photos is NOT what you see in real life (maybe a haze and some beams if you're lucky)..... And if you DO decide to go out and try to capture it--- rug up-- it kinda gets cold out there in the middle of the night) 😉

Thoughts on tonight's possibilty?

Sydney was pouring-an aurora is on the bucket list. Dang.

Great pics Ray considering that cloud last night 👍

Awesome photos

Glenda Twemlow now you’ve seen it !!

Very nice 👍

Lovely.

Amelia Williamson

Sue Priest

Melanie Hibbert Adam Brace

Margaret Vanags Lynn Scully

Tania Dalzell

Nic Booth

Tabitha

View more comments

Load more